- Classic VW Campervan
holiday hire in Norfolk and Suffolk
Ruby and Talula
Ed Ewing and his partner
Frenesi run a VW Camper business in Blakeney Norfolk (as
well as a holiday homes business.)
Talula and Ruby – both
imports from Australia – are his two main vehicles, an
early and a late bay from the 1970s. They have been
refurbished, fitted out and re-trimmed to the highest
standard, and Ed’s mechanic – known as Doktor Dub – keeps
them in tip-top condition...
Please tell me about your business
Ed: We rent classic VW camper
vans for holidays in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Q: Now should we read anything
into the fact that you previously worked for Apple and that
Steve Jobs financed the start-up of Apple with the sale of his
campervan in the 1970's?
Ed: Not at all. I’ve always
loved camper vans but never owned one. But the irony wasn’t
lost on me when I found out. About 6 years ago I went on a
European management course and had to do a “Dragons Den” style
presentation. Mine was on setting up a camper van business.
Since then the idea has germinated and when we made a
permanent move to Norfolk last year we wanted something that
would complement the holiday cottages that we also own – and
this seemed to be the thing.
Q: So it was really a lifestyle
Ed: Absolutely, we fell in love
with Norfolk and wanted to start doing things that we enjoyed
more, so finding a business that enables us to do that and
share our love of the area with other people was key.
Q: How do you manage to keep
Ed: Through technology. One of
the downsides of being in business, especially the hospitality
business, is that it can take over your life as you always
have to be available. You can end up being a busy fool where
you can be living the dream but don’t have any time to enjoy
it. We’ve seen a lot of people give up big salary jobs in
London, set up a business and become so consumed by it that
their quality of life can go backwards. We use VOIP and Cloud
based systems that we can access via the iPhone and the
MacBook with a 3G dongle or WiFi, so wherever we are - on the
boat, in the campervan or just going about our daily lives –
we have our virtual office so we’re still in touch and we’re
We know from the cottages that
if we leave an enquiry to the next day then we won’t get that
booking but if we respond in a timely fashion we will. It only
takes 5 minutes to do - and being responsive makes the
difference between being half booked and being 90% booked
which is the difference between making a living and not!
are your customers?
Ed: There are couples of all
ages – including one just turned 70 – and families, including
a seven-year-old with parents in tow. Some have memories of
holidaying in a VW Campervan as a child, some want to try
something different and some want to try before buying.
Q: Where are they going with
What they have in common is they virtually all want to stay
around Norfolk and Suffolk rather than venturing further
afield. As a business we are so fortunate to be based where we
are. Within a 60-mile radius we have everything holidaymakers
could want. I’d say 90% of our guests don’t go
more that 40 miles from Blakeney, even the guests who live
Q: I understand you also
cater for weddings?
We offer a chauffeured service where we dress the van, pick up
the bride or groom party and take then to the ceremony and
then drive the bride and groom to the reception with a glass
of champagne on route with their own iPod playlist or CD
items should people bring
with them when touring with one of your campers?
Ed: As part of the hiring,
Groovy Campers can provide all the necessary camping equipment
people would need such as tents, camp beds and barbecues.
Q: If people are unsure about the handling of one of these
vintage beauties, what would you say?
Ed: Don't worry. We
will even go out for a drive with people who are not familiar
with the way a Camper drives, show them what's what and give
them some advice and pointers.
Q: What’s next for you then Ed?
Ed: Apart from a couple more
camper vans, next on the shopping list is to see how we can
use an iPad to make it simpler for clients to check out a van
– so that’ll be my excuse to get one!
Some parts of the interview
courtesy of and © copyright
Chris Little at
Groovy Campers - Classic VW
holiday hire in Norfolk and Suffolk
Go your own way in a
classic VW Campervan... Walking on the beach, Camping
under the stars, Picking up fresh local produce, Cooking
bacon butties for breakfast, evenings by the BBQ. Simple
things, memories that last.
All of Groovy Camper's vans
are from the iconic 1970s so have heaps of character. They
have been fully restored to provide electric hook-up,
fridge, gas stove & heating, iPod connection and they come
equipped with maps, games, all cooking equipment and the
irreplaceable air-cooled VW sound - the perfect backdrop
to your camping adventure...
They can be hired for short
breaks or longer camping holidays - all you need add is
your sleeping bag, iPod and a sense of fun. We love
exploring 'off the beaten track'; staying at some great
campsites, both on the coast and inland - and we hope you
will too. So hire one of our vans and go your own way…